Budding female entrepreneurs met to share ideas, knowledge, and support with like-minded professionals from across the district.

The event, hosted by Leeds-based social enterprise Shine, showcased the organisation’s ‘She Can Shine’ programme which offers a unique programme of mentoring and advice for females looking to launch or grow their own businesses.

Guest speaker was West Yorkshire entrepreneur Zandra Moore, CEO and co-founder of Leeds-based Panintelligence which she has grown into one the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies since 2018.

She’s also recently been appointed to a government task force aiming to increase the number of women establishing businesses.

Event attendees heard her inspirational story from childhood through to the leading business position she holds today.

Zandra said: “Females have so much to add to the business economy, but statistics reveal just how poorly they rank. Only one in three UK entrepreneurs is a woman - a gender gap equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses, and male-led SMEs are five times more likely to scale up to £1 million turnover than female-led SMEs.

“I support all efforts to place women at the heart of the economy by giving them the skills and support they need to start their own businesses and I’m extremely impressed by the work that Shine is doing through this extremely worthwhile and impressive initiative.”

The event also featured speakers from NatWest Bank – sponsors of the She Can Shine programme - who advised delegates on the financial and marketing support available from the bank.

Shine founder Dawn O’Keefe said: “We’re delighted to be playing our part in helping to raise the profile of women and giving them the support and guidance needed to transform their dreams into reality.

“The event proved to be an extremely useful forum for people to come together and share their thoughts with like-minded entrepreneurs.”